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Black History Month at Tabor

Tabor students, parents, faculty and staff can expect to see some additional events and activities pertaining to Black history, Black achievement, and Black culture as part of Black History Month. And, this work will continue right on past the month-long celebration. Since Loraine Snead joined the community this past summer, she has been working with students, faculty and staff as part of her role as the Director of Equity and Inclusion. 

“I appreciate Black History Month, but I also don’t believe we should limit our efforts to just one month,” she shared, and her actions have supported that sentiment. Loraine has held a number of workshops and trainings for faculty and staff over the past six months including a variety of workshops and discussions on MLK Day in January. 

Here’s a look at what’s been happening in February and beyond. 

Student Activities

Black History Month is a central theme of student activities in February. Weekly movie events feature Black directors, actors, producers and writers through films such as Jordan Peele’s award-winning “Get Out” and Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing.” Students can also enjoy the cult-classic “Love & Basketball” and comedy “Sister Act” featuring Whoopi Goldberg, one of only 16 entertainers to have earned an Emmy Award, a Grammy Award, an Academy Award, and a Tony Award. Students are also taking part in creating slideshows (and sharing the information on social media) that are featured around campus, which depict Black leaders and influential figures from history. 

Workshops & Learning

As part of January’s Martin Luther King Jr., Day programming at Tabor, students and faculty watched the documentary, “I’m Not a Racist, Am I?” and participated in workshops. This work came on the heels of a faculty in-service that took place earlier in January with a focus on advancing Tabor’s institutional commitment to becoming a more anti-racist educational community. Another session related to the documentary, “I’m Not a Racist, Am I?” is being offered in February for staff members who were unable to attend the first workshop. 

Students, parents, faculty and staff alike have opportunities to participate in even more workshops in February and March, with three DEI Office-sponsored offerings.

  1. “What White People Can Do About Racism” is a three-part series that individuals can sign up for, which is a live, interactive workshop that looks at how white people can work for racial justice. Individuals interested in participating should contact Loraine Snead for information on how to register and have the cost covered by the DEI office. 
  2. The Unconference from the Underrepresentation Curriculum - This conference focuses on STEM curriculum conversations surrounding equity, inclusion and justice. Contact Loraine Snead for information on how to register.
  3. Go Beyond an Awareness of Racism: Tabor Parents/Guardians are invited to attend a workshop with New York Times Best-Selling Author Dr. Ibram Kendi on March 3, from 5-6pm, with group conversations following. The event is free, paid for by Tabor’s DEI Office, but everyone must register individually if they wish to attend. Click here to register for "Go Beyond an Awareness of Racism" (parents and faculty/staff only, please)

In addition to these events, since January, a small group of faculty has been meeting weekly to discuss the book, “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man,” by Emmanuel Acho. Each week, they discuss a different chapter from the book, relating it to life, learning, and Tabor Academy. According to Rick DaSilva ’89, Associate Director of the International Center and
Assistant Director, International Recruitment, who helped form the Book Club, “it has been going well. There’s such value in engaging with colleagues about this work in the DEI realm.” 

He and colleague Dr. Sarah Kniesler, English Teacher, chose this reading because Acho’s book is intentionally deep, “but also accessible, the content is meant to be discussed. His style and demeanor is especially personable and it’s nice to see how interest in a book that I believed could be so important for our community, fostered the idea of a book club.” The group is also looking at ways they might bring the book to the students by forming more reading groups and using it in class discussions. “I would also love to develop this into a series that includes other books and more faculty,” added DaSilva.

In addition to these activities, individual classes have been engaging in projects related to Black History Month, and Ann Richard, Director of Library Services, shared that the library is doing a Featured Author of the Week and a Black History Month Display along with a suggested reading list for the community.
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    The Forecasters Series showcases alumni leaders and up-and-comers in their industries who will "forecast" the next 18 months in their respective areas of expertise. Epidemiology, higher education, and professional sports are just a few of the topics slated for discussion. This collection of leaders is sure to help you understand the changes in their fields and explain how these changes may alter your daily lives. Whether your interest is professional or personal, these one-hour presentations are sure to enlighten, and help all of us navigate the future.
     
    A forecaster himself, Bruce Cobbold, taught us Heraclitus’ famous axiom, “Change is the only constant in life.” While this may never be truer than it is today, we are certainly better than ever at forecasting.
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